After a slow first five months, I'm back to blogging in earnest. In the forthcoming few months I plan to keep on tracking the blooming of wildflowers, the activities of bugs and reptiles and any other critters I'm quick enough or lucky enough to photograph, and to comment on ecological relationships. Since there is an increasing sense of ecological crisis among many people and more vigorous denial of such on the part of others, I will inevitably comment on the social and political dimensions of survival as I see them.
I am still an adjunct instructor in the English Department at Feather River College, but time permitting, I am available for hire as a nature guide in the region in and around Plumas County. A brochure describing my usual kinds of natural history adventures is in development. Email me c/o email@example.com with your mailing address and a statement of interests, and I'll send you a rough draft.
I have been teaching since 1965 and have recently joined the English Department as an Associate Faculty member at Feather River College. Recently taught Nature Literature in America and am currently teaching Interpersonal Communication and Basic Reading and Writing.
I was thinking about Yogi Berra's advice when I walked from my car up to my office yesterday. If I had walked fast, I wouldn't have noticed any of the following. Large patches of green, heart-shaped leaves look like a flowerless ground cover, but being a great fan of this particular plant, I spotted the little red dot (above photo) below the ground cover. I put down my backpack, lunch box, handful of books, and camera bag, and moved in for a close-up (below). Lemmon's Wild Ginger is one of those
small delights that most people walk by without noticing. Click on these photos for closer views.
Also blended in with the surrounding greenery, especially the much taller grass, is a sprinkling of Western Dog Violets, our only violet violet.
Below as a broader view of a patch of ginger. This is the way it looked when I approached. Can you see that red speck? In wetter years, the green cover is continuous and none of the flowers would be visible. You'd have to know they were there and start parting leaves to look for them. There's always a chance you'll find other interesting things - bugs, snails, snakes, etc.
Another attractive, but tiny flower along the path was the Blue-eyed Mary. These blossoms are around 1/4" wide.
The early morning dew formed on every branch of this horsetail and it looked like a tower of jewels. Very nice. There was no water flowing in this ditch as there should be, but there must be some close to the surface as this year's crop of horsetails looked OK.